DETROIT - The head of General Motors Co's China operations said on Wednesday that GM is still awaiting Beijing's approval for a deal to sell Hummer and that he is uncertain of the outcome.

The U.S. automaker reached a tentative deal in June to sell the Hummer SUV brand to China's Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery.

We're involved in the government approval process, GM China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale said at the Automotive News Congress in Detroit.

Asked if he expected the Chinese government to allow the sale to close, Wale said: Still to be decided. I don't know what the outcome is going to be.

We're hopeful it will be decided in the very near future but we don't know.

GM Chief Executive Ed Whitacre said last week the company aimed to close the sale by the end of January. GM had initially planned to close the deal at the end of 2009.

If the sale fails, it would mark the fourth sale that was not completed after earlier deals to sell Saturn, Saab and Opel units collapsed last year.

In September, Penske Automotive Group pulled out of an agreement to buy Saturn the day before it was expected to close. In November, GM's board reversed a decision to sell a 55 percent stake in Germany-based Opel to a group led by Magna International , opting to keep the European unit instead.

GM is also proceeding with the wind-down of Saab and has said none of the bidders for the money-losing brand had presented financially viable plans yet.